News Roundup: Sunshine

  • The Summit at Snoqualmie shuts Hidden Valley for the season due to an “unusual mechanical problem.”
  • Sugarloaf closes King Pine due to a sheave assembly issue.
  • Dave Brownlie, former head of Whistler Blackcomb and current Revelstoke President, weighs in on the state of the British Columbia ski industry and his company’s plans for Grouse Mountain.
  • The Colorado Sun interviews three Colorado resort pioneers about industry trends and challenges.
  • As the gondola at Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens, the resort says an external power issue caused last month’s sudden stop.  A lawsuit has been filed and the power company denies responsibility.
  • Just the Leitner portion of Mexico City’s new urban gondola network will feature seven stations and 300 cabins.
  • Experienced resort executives Andy and Jace Wirth may take over operations at Granby Ranch.
  • Limited Ikon/Mountain Collective visits to Arapahoe Basin are 69 percent lower than unlimited Epic visits last year and the “experience is way up,” says Al Henceroth.
  • Another informative podcast from Stuart Winchester features an executive from Mountain Creek and Big Snow talking about the next new lift and a possible Big Snow Miami.
  • Smugglers’ Notch has no intentions of losing its independence or ditching its fleet of fixed grip double chairs.
  • Whitefish will begin work in Hellroaring Basin this summer and move the current Hellroaring triple to a new alignment in 2021.

21 thoughts on “News Roundup: Sunshine

  1. reaperskier March 6, 2020 / 8:45 am

    I predict that tremblant is going to announce a new lift and will either be a Duncan or Soleil Express 6 (or 8). Hopefully with bubbles.

    For other mountains i predict the following:

    Snowshoe, WV – Powder Monkey Quad

    Blue Mountain, ON – L-Hill Express 6

    Stratton – Tamarack Express quad

    Squaw-Alpine – California Express gondola

    Sugarbush – Heavens Gate replacement?


    • skitheeast March 6, 2020 / 10:40 am

      I believe Win Smith, Sugarbush President, said the Heaven’s Gate replacement would not be this offseason. I would also be surprised to see Stratton replace Tamarack this year, as last I heard, admittedly many months ago, it is likely 2-3 years away and a summit lodge is being prioritized. I think Tremblant will prioritize upgrading Soleil to a six-pack because of the new hotel being built, but I do think a Duncan upgrade (an eight would work really well here) is more pressing.

      Outside of those you mentioned, Red Dog at Squaw Alpine will likely be upgraded alongside the gondola project, and Sunrise at Solitude and something in Colorado to counter the new Beaver Creek/Keystone lifts (Pioneer upgrade at Winter Park perhaps?) are decent bets.


      • Teddy's Lift World March 7, 2020 / 3:41 pm

        Heaven’s Gate definitely won’t happen this year. The next replacement will most likely be Gate House which will happen in a few years. I think Tremblant will finally be getting the new Timber expansion that has been in the plans for years along with an upgraded Soleil lift. Duncan won’t be upgraded for a little while.


    • Alex March 6, 2020 / 12:33 pm

      I think Mammoth replacing Chair 16 with HSS is a very high probability as well.


    • Kaden K March 8, 2020 / 3:58 pm

      Probably Pioneer at Winter Park too. Maybe they’ll do bubbles.

      Liked by 1 person

    • atc1701 March 10, 2020 / 9:22 am

      No new lift at Tremblant, aside from what appears to be a carpet. A new detachable quad will be installed next year, serving an 8-trail pod. I doubt they’d install another lift (a replacement) in the same year, so it looks like we have some waiting to do for any Duncan or Soleil replacement.


  2. sullivanq March 6, 2020 / 9:57 am

    I think the US Department of labor is completely wrong about gunstock using u16 instructors and them technically operating heavy equipment. I think they have gone delusional. Putting the safety bar down is enhancing their safety, not endangering it. Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GEORGE T March 6, 2020 / 1:42 pm

      A bureaucrat doing bureaucratic things. Supported by a box of bureaucrats in a city full of bureaucratic boxes. Might be surrounded by bureaucrats.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Alan March 6, 2020 / 6:56 pm

      This is a great find, thanks. I was wondering what the issue was. The chairs have always bounced heavily through that first tower so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.


  3. milanyvr March 6, 2020 / 11:26 am

    3S👏Gondola👏 For👏 Grouse👏


    • Meir K. March 6, 2020 / 1:34 pm

      That 👏is 👏 very 👏 expensive 👏


  4. vons3 March 6, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    Cool to see on Horsburgh & Scott’s facebook page that they reverse engineered and fabricated the new ring gear for Arizona Snowbowl.


  5. snowngr March 8, 2020 / 3:04 pm

    Ok, I’ll bite. What is the 5th scenic lift in Gatlinburg?

    1. Ober Tram
    2. Ober Scenic Chair
    3. Skylift
    4. Anakeesta

    We’re not counting the abandoned chair in town or the micro funicular at Hillbilly golf, are we?


    • Peter Landsman March 8, 2020 / 6:12 pm

      Wilderness Mountain Chairlift behind the Harper Brothers General Store, though it may no longer be in operation.


      • skier72 March 8, 2020 / 6:44 pm

        Did you get many photos of the chairlift when you visited Tennessee?


  6. pbropetech March 9, 2020 / 8:57 am

    I continue to shake my head at uninformed people who blithely comment that ski areas ‘need to do maintenance’ (see the Twitter thread about Hyak /Summit at Snoqualmie closing Hidden Valley). That person doubtlessly has no idea what is going on.


    • Peter Landsman March 9, 2020 / 12:15 pm


      • Max Hart March 9, 2020 / 6:46 pm

        If you’re going to call out the mountain at least do your homework and figure out what you’re talking about.
        At least when we call out Sunday River (coincidentally also a Boyne Mountain) we get the story straight beforehand. For example, they pulled the cabins off of the Chondi on Friday and a source from upstairs told me that they wouldn’t be back this season and that March 7-8 would be the last weekend for all non-essential lifts (6, 3, 13, 15, though he didn’t mention 4), the reason being that the mountain was starting to cut back on employees (already – outrageous). This tends to happen almost every year, right around the time of the season pass “flash sale.” So we called them out on it (almost instantly), and coincidentally it was a fairly busy weekend. My source upstairs confirmed today that they re-evaluated and are planning to keep those lifts going for a few more weekends as skier visits require them.

        Case in point, if you’re going to call out the mountain for something like that, do it right. In Snoqualmie’s case, it’s an issue that can’t be fixed until the end of the season; that doesn’t seem to be in their control (and you know it must be a serious issue because they probably have enough Riblet parts to keep their lifts running for another 100 years). At Sunday River it was another Bend-Over-You’re-Now-Employed (Boyne) case, and that’s a problem that starts in an office that might not even be in Maine.


        • Meir K. March 10, 2020 / 5:25 am

          “[T]hey pulled the cabins off of the Chondi”. Sunday River really needs covered parking for these cabins…

          Also, is the parking at the top alse enough for the chairs? Or is it only of the cabins?


        • Max Hart March 10, 2020 / 9:23 am

          There is a parking rail, but it is not covered or enclosed in any way. That has a lot to do with why one fell off the rail due to a gust of wind while going around the U-turn at the downhill end. There’s only enough room for all 16 cabins and there’s a smaller rail for a chair and the work carrier. I’m pretty sure that not having the rail enclosed voided CWA’s warranty on the cabins.


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